ING economist: The US has most to lose in war of digital currencies

Finextra | March 05, 2020

The US dollar's position as the unrivalled global currency means it has the most at stake should central banks begin to issue their own digital currencies, according to ING economist Carlos Cocuzzo. "If there's anybody that stands to lose in this game, it's really the US," Cocuzzo has said at Blockchain Week 2020 in London. 90% of the world's foreign exchange turnover runs on dollars, meaning it pervades into the economies of almost every country. This is in light of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell recently stating that Facebook's Libra project "really lit a fire," highlighting the concern the US would have for widespread issuance of digital currencies. Cocuzzo uses the example of Ukraine, where a lot of domestic transaction are carried out in dollars. "Ukraine is a highly dollarised economy. People use dollars to make purchases as well as hryvnia, the local currency."

Spotlight

Blockchain can power your business processes and give rise to industry ecosystems. But there’s no point in re-creating the old world, but with a blockchain at its core. The danger in not recognising this paradigm shift from the outset is that you end up reasserting existing roles, processes and business models. Instead, you need a commitment to a strategy that is suitably transformed from where you are today.

Spotlight

Blockchain can power your business processes and give rise to industry ecosystems. But there’s no point in re-creating the old world, but with a blockchain at its core. The danger in not recognising this paradigm shift from the outset is that you end up reasserting existing roles, processes and business models. Instead, you need a commitment to a strategy that is suitably transformed from where you are today.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

KPMG In Canada Launches Book Keeping And Financial Reporting Platform ‘Finance Plus’

KPMG | May 18, 2021

KPMG Canada is introducing Finance Plus, a modern cloud accounting system for small to medium-sized business owners who lack the expertise or in-house experience to handle their bookkeeping and financial statements. KPMG Finance Plus blends industry-leading financial resources with the tailored assistance of a KPMG accountant. Finance Plus is an accessible and cost-effective way for entrepreneurs, franchisees, and multi-site company owners to outsource bookkeeping and financial management, all while being supervised by a live KPMG specialist. Clients can provide visibility and access to a range of digital applications that provide end-to-end financial resources such as accounting, bookkeeping, budgeting, everyday transactions, payroll, and tax services through the modern technology portal. Finance Plus, as one centralised web hub, streamlines bookkeeping records and financial statistics, with timely monitoring that assists in tracking and evaluating a company's financial results. QuickBooks Online, Xero, Hubdoc, Dext, ADP, and Wagepoint are among the tech resources accessible through the easy, single sign-on portal. "We created Finance Plus for entrepreneurs who want to focus on running their growing business, and don't have the time or in-house expertise to manage their bookkeeping," explains Mary Jo Fedy, National Leader, KPMG Enterprise. He also adds, "Finance Plus features all the advantages of managing your finances securely in the cloud, with the accuracy and reliability of a KPMG professional. Each Finance Plus customer is assigned a highly trained and experienced KPMG virtual accountant, backed by KPMG's professional network of trusted business advisors." According to a new KPMG poll, the majority of Canadians (88%) believe small and medium-sized companies in Canada have become economic casualties of the pandemic, and many are now struggling as a result of lockdowns. A further 91% of respondents believe the pandemic has shown a real need for Canadian companies to improve their web visibility and technical skills. "Over the past year, few business owners have been able to escape the economic stresses of the pandemic, and those who have accelerated the shift to digital are better positioned to succeed. Whether a business is currently thriving, secure or challenged, owners need an affordable technology solution that provides an accurate picture of the health of their business in real time. Finance Plus gives clients immediate access to data and insights which can drive efficiencies and potential cost savings," concludes Ms. Fedy. Finance Plus has the following services: • Transactions on a regular basis • Bookkeeping that has been digitised • Accounts payable/receivable (AP/AR) • Payroll administration • Planning a budget • Reporting to management • GST/HST as well as federal income tax • Reconciliation of bank accounts and credit cards "Finance Plus provides a customized digital bookkeeping service with all the benefits of the cloud. When a business outsources its accounting function to KPMG, we put our people and technology-enabled services to work, freeing up business owners so they can stay laser focused on their business and make more informed financial decisions. That's critical in the current economic climate," According to Peter Gribilas, National Leader, Finance Plus, KPMG Canada. Finance Plus is designed for founders and small business owners who: • Lack a dedicated bookkeeper, controller, or accountant on-board. • Will benefit from routine reporting and analytics • Need assistance in financial systems such as bookkeeping or payroll. • Still working on paper-based financials. • Want a safe cloud-based system backed by KPMG experts with years of experience. • Want to get more insights and KPIs from their financials. • Are now using existing bookkeeping tools, but are thinking about outsourcing Fairly priced and personalised Pricing is customised to a client's budget and specific business demands, with the option to scale up as the business expands. For fast on-boarding, the Finance Plus app can also easily integrate with a client's current cloud applications. Taking the stress out of tax calculation To review year-end financial statements and full tax returns, the Finance Plus team will work closely with a client's local KPMG office. The app organises all year-end documents and safely sends it to a KPMG tax specialist. The consolidated centre removes the need to communicate with different individuals and places while still tracking financial data from various sources. About KPMG In Canada KPMG LLP, a limited liability partnership, is a full-service Audit, Tax and Advisory firm owned and operated by Canadians. For over 150 years, our professionals have provided consulting, accounting, auditing, and tax services to Canadians, inspiring confidence, empowering change, and driving innovation. Guided by our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Courage, Together, For Better, KPMG employs nearly 8,000 people in over 40 locations across Canada, serving private- and public-sector clients. KPMG is consistently ranked one of Canada's top employers and one of the best places to work in the country. The firm is established under the laws of Ontario and is a member of KPMG's global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International, a private English company limited by guarantee. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Scrypt AI Processes Over $1B in Invoices Using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Scrypt AI | March 23, 2021

Scrypt AI, a machine learning and artificial intelligence-driven Treasury Management-as-a-Service platform startup, has announced that its Integrated Payables and Receivables platform has now processed thousands of invoices worth more than $1B to its clients, saving its clients 10 to 15 times the previous cost of manual accounts payable workflows. The greater part of all invoices got by businesses in the U.S. today are paper, while the greater part of business-to-business payments are made electronically. There is a clear relationship between the quantity of invoices got electronically and the business cost of receipt processing, which is $11.57 per receipt according to 2019 research from Ardent Partners. Those costs, which incorporate labor, overhead, and innovation, are attached to the manual exertion of entering invoices into enterprise resource planning systems and then matching each receipt to the right payment account. At scale, manual accounts payable workflows can turn out to be incredibly arduous and costly. To address this widespread organizational shortcoming, Scrypt AI has operationalized a start to finish AI data capture platform for high-volume, high-accuracy archive processing and report discovery. Scrypt AI's clever receipt coding solution utilizes machine learning and AI automation to add and manage receipt payments inside most popular enterprise resource planning software platforms—solving a critical challenge inside the payables segment of treasury management. Regardless of whether businesses get invoices digitally or in the mail, Scrypt AI can assist them with automating payables at when they need it most. Scrypt AI easily integrates with existing ERP systems, such as property management software Yardi's Voyager, and can automatically distinguish and match a receipt to the appropriate payment account. No straightforward annotations, templating, or configurations are required, as the system learns from historical data and continuous extracts. The rapid onboarding process does not need any protracted implementations, however consists of simply integrating Scrypt AI with existing systems of records and training Scrypt AI on historical ERP data. Scrypt AI got its seed investment from leading fintech investors and its strategic partner, CheckAlt, a leading treasury solutions supplier. The company has as of late recruited a business-side chief team composed of fintech and startup industry veterans to position the company for rapid development. About Scrypt AI Scrypt AI is defining Treasury Management-as-a-Service with an industry-leading Integrated Payables and Receivables platform that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver fast, zero-touch invoice coding, digital payments, and account reconciliation. Scrypt AI is dedicated to removing friction from document management and financial accounting tasks and seamlessly integrates with deposit and payment imaging solutions as well as third-party ERPs and eSign products.

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PAYMENTS

Huawei Launches the Mobile Payment and Micro Finance Solution, Facilitating Financial Inclusion

Huawei | September 27, 2021

Huawei launched a financial inclusion solution featuring mobile payment and micro finance at HUAWEI CONNECT 2021. The solution helps financial institutions provide fast and affordable services, bringing the world a step closer to financial inclusion. Huawei will continue working with ecosystem partners and using new ICTs to advance mobile payment and build a prosperous business ecosystem. Banks use mobile payment and micro finance solutions, including cloud technology and SaaS, to build tailored business models and a thriving ecosystem on super apps. Huawei's financial inclusion solution covers mobile wallet, mobile payment platform, super app open framework, and financial product platforms. With these, banks can quickly introduce various financial services. At HUAWEI CONNECT 2021, Huawei addressed the future of digital transformation across industries from three perspectives: scenarios, models, and ecosystems. Huawei launched 11 new industry solutions, one of these being the mobile payment and micro finance solution. The latter uses new technologies to help financial institutions around the world advance mobile payment; connect users, merchants, channel partners, and developers; and build a prosperous ecosystem. A super app connects users and merchants. Huawei provides multiple channel technologies (SuperAPP, HTML5, carrier USSD, Agent, and open API) to help banks reach their customers faster and at a lower cost. Huawei also supports smaller merchants in upgrading their digital operations through tailored apps; these also help banks outside China develop agent networks to reach customers online and offline. With Huawei solutions, financial institutions can design a complete online customer journey and deliver better customer experience. A financial product platform connects users and funders. Carriers outside China have a massive number of users, so they have the driving force for business growth and the pre-requisite for monetization. However, they are lacking a platform to connect with banks. The financial product platform helps carriers recommend users to banks, which can in turn provide embedded financial products directly to users. A developer platform helps build an ecosystem. There are several types of developers, including those of global leading service systems, local services, and intermediate services such as small plug-ins. Huawei provides a cloud-native SaaS solution, which supports iterative innovation and open APIs. This enables other SaaS partners and different ecosystem players to connect on the HUAWEI CLOUD platform. Banks and partners can easily explore new services and quickly aggregate diverse ecosystems to successfully launch joint projects. Huawei's financial inclusion solutions have already been successfully implemented in several countries. For example, Huawei worked with KBZ Bank in Myanmar — the largest local bank — to build a new digital wallet called KBZPay based on the public cloud. KBZPay integrates various marketing tools to deliver a fully digital experience to users and help merchants attract customers. In just two and a half years, KBZPay on-boarded over 8 million registered users, making it the leading digital life payment brand in the country. In Kenya, Huawei cooperated with Safaricom — the largest local carrier — to build a payment brand called M-Pesa. Not only does the platform support bank transfers, it also offers several services for daily life. At the same time, it helps KCB Bank, NCBA Bank, and Safaricom provide micro and small loans to individuals and merchants. On the market for 14 years, M-Pesa has significantly contributed to increasing financial inclusion in Kenya, which has shot up from 23% to 85%. Huawei is committed to advancing financial inclusion. It has thus far served over 30 sites across more than 20 countries, covering 300 million users in regions like Southern Africa, North Africa, and Asia Pacific. Huawei aims to deliver convenient and diverse financial services to everyone. Using its advanced connectivity and platforms, Huawei helps financial institutions build digital business processes, implement digital financial inclusion services, and achieve sustainable financial development.

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